OCD Part 1,001 – Home Buying

78k fixer upper

Fingers crossed that this 1976 $78k fixer-upper in the senior park with rent control shall be mine.

Apparently, one needs to get a unit newer than June 1976 to be guaranteed able to obtain a loan, and this one was built in February 1976.  (Of course).

With the older age, I’ll probably have to pay a higher interest rate, and may have to put down 25% versus 20% as my deposit, but I will be saving about $400 per month compared to what I’m paying now in rent.  And about $1,400 over what “market rates” are for a similarly sized apartment.  Seriously.  $2,800 is what the average 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment runs – without pets, without privacy, without a washer / dryer – which are all bonus points to put up with its very ancient exterior.

No pictures of the interior yet, but I’m already pricing options via Ikea as it’s hideous.  Picture a wood paneling breakfast bar, with faux leather padding all around.  (Shudders).

White paint will fix a lot of sins (it’s 1970’s wood paneling), but the carpeting has to go.  It’s filthy.

The unit is 60 feet long x 12 feet wide.

There’s a side sun porch.

The biggest challenge is to get into the park.  From there, the next challenge is to have affordable housing that I can tolerate.  Especially since I never wanted to be a homeowner.

Should I be unable to tolerate the unit, I’ve already been shopping to find pricing of a replacement model, and this one runs about $6k to $68k – finished.

Choice 1 - photo 1

Being thrifty, I’d rather buy direct after I’m into the space, vs. having them (the manufactured home alliances) put something on the same spot themselves and pocket the difference in profit.  i.e., this unit has a worst-case price of $68k.  I could do a pull-out / replace of my unit with this one, and increase the value of my property overnight (so long as the market remains crazy) without having to pay someone else that markup rate.

Choice 1 - photo 2

By replacing the unit myself, or rehabbing it, I give myself some breathing room on my first home, securing the desirable location, without tying myself into the huge payments required to purchase new at $250k to $329k.  (The 3 units they’ve pulled out and replaced in this park have been put on the market for $329k.  Crazy!).

I should have done my homework last year and gone with the original unit. But, failing that, I think this unit will be ok (even if it is an Austin Power’s padded cell of poor taste).

As long as it’s weather tight, I’ll find a way to make it work.


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